Apple aims to 'reinvent home music' with HomePod smart speaker

Apple on Monday announced the HomePod, its long-anticipated answer to Amazon's Echo and Google's Home.

You'll be able to play music (obviously), connect multiple in a single room, and use a multiroom setup too (like Sonos or Google Home).

Apple, in contrast, is betting that the "smart" part of the speaker doesn't matter that much. You'll also be able to control HomeKit enabled smart home products by voice.

"The fact that Apple is claiming to marry really great and smart audio with a smart assistant and cloud music service makes this device unique in the market so far".

Apple today unveiled HomePod, a new wireless speaker with Siri.

Some industry insiders, however, note that Apple will be under more pressure to improve the computing smarts of its Siri software in the face of offerings from rivals Google and Amazon. Apple's more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

From top: Apple CEO Tim Cook unveils the HomePod smart speaker at speaks the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference; An attendee demonstrates the ARKit, augmented reality tool, on an iPad Pro.

Siri will now share its learned and personalized data across devices with end-to-end encryption - so that Apple doesn't know your preferences.

"You're dealing with one Siri", said Apple software chief Craig Federighi. If Apple wants to be more than a hardware company, it needs to break out of its profit game sometimes.

Apple announced its latest smartphone operating system, iOS 11; new smartwatch operating system, watchOS 4; and new Mac computer operating system, macOS High Sierra. Many of those apps are sold via the App Store, which was revamped, and Apple gets a cut of all those sales. Apple's betting on its artificial intelligence effort, with a helping hand from developers, to help Siri one-up and leapfrog its competitors.

San Jose: After a marathon set of announcements this morning, Apple invited press into a hands-on area for a brief play with their new Macs, iPads and the much hyped HomePod, Apple's take on the multi-room speaker. Whether or not HomePod's sound quality can compete with other high-end Wi-Fi speakers remains to be seen, but the price tag is predicated on the hope that it can, especially since Apple is hoping that you buy several of them.

HomePod does plug into an outlet for power, but will stream from your iPhone, iPad or connected Apple device wirelessly.

"Though Apple appears to be playing catch up with Amazon and Google, the primary casualty here may be Sonos".

Samsung doubled the number of wearable devices shipped compared with the previous year, but it's still at fourth overall, at less than 5 percent, just ahead of Garmin.

WWDC is Apple's annual pitch to software engineers to continue building programs for the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Essentially, the device is created to be a combination between a wireless speaker (like UE Boom series or Bose SoundLink) and a smart home speaker.

Apple apparently tested three designs for its Siri Speaker; one without a camera and one without a screen, meaning the actual version most likely have both a camera and a display.

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